(KTXL) — Multiple eyewitness videos captured several flaming objects in the sky over Northern California on Friday, but what were they?

One astronomer with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Jonathan McDowell said the blazing lights were pieces of jettisoned equipment from the International Space Station.

According to NASA, the aerial phenomena could have been newly discovered asteroid 2023 EY which was expected to make a near-Earth pass on Friday evening.

On Saturday, the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland confirmed to KRON4 that McDowell’s identification of the fiery objects as space debris was correct.

The object entered Earth’s atmosphere around 9:36 p.m., and broke apart as it fell towards the earth after many years in a “slow decaying orbit,” Chabot Space and Center told KRON4.

According to McDowell, the small pieces debris likely burned up in Earth’s atmosphere upon reentry, but some pieces may have hit the ground.

What about the Asteroid?

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was tracking a 52 feet wide asteroid, named 2023 EY, that was going to pass the earth on Friday.

The asteroid was estimated to be about 149,000 miles away from the earth at its closest approach and according to NASA most near-Earth objects are asteroids between 10 feet and 20 feet wide.

This relatively close pass placed the asteroid within 62% of the moons average distance from the Earth of 238,900 miles.

What is an Asteroid?

An asteroid is a small rocky object that orbit the sun, according to NASA. Most asteroids are located in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

These small rocky objects are left over debris from the formation of the Milky Way Galaxy about 4.6 billion years ago.

The Five Closest Asteroids to Earth

NASA’s Eyes on Asteroid provides detailed information on the five closest asteroids to Earth.

Currently these are the five closest approaches to Earth:

– 2023 EZ
– Approximate size: 65 feet wide (House-size)
– Closest Earth Approach: 3,870,000 miles
– Date: March 18, 2023

– 2016 WH
– Approximate size: 44 fee wide (House-size)
– Closest Earth Approach: 4,310,000 miles
– Date: March 19, 2023

– 2023 EV2
– Approximate size: 65 feet wide (House-size)
– Closest Earth Approach: 1,090,000 miles
– March 20, 2023

– 2018 FE3
– Approximate size: 40 feet wide (Bus-size)
– Closest Earth Approach: 2,410,000 miles
– Date: March 21, 2023

– 2023 EO1
– Approximate size: 140 feet wide (Airplane-size)
– Closest Earth Approach: 1,630,000 miles
– Date: March 23, 2023